It can be difficult to see the future when you realize your husband is cheating on you.
The maelstrom of emotions brought on by this news can paralyze you. The storm has only just begun, so seeing the light on the horizon may seem pointless.
But there is a way to move forward. If you’re reading this right now you’re proactively looking for a way to improve your situation.
I know this may sound odd, but congratulations. You understand how dire the situation is yet want to take action. Emotions may get the best of you sometimes but for the present, you’re willing to power through and look towards the future.
Look infidelity can happen for a million reasons. I’m not here to speculate on why it happened. I’m here to offer a roadmap forward regardless of why it happened. As someone that has helped many women in your exact position (and has been cheated on himself) I know what you’re going through and how to move forward.
Let’s look at four actionable steps you can apply to your life right now that will help you get past this trying situation.
Fist off, let’s be clear.
These four steps involve what you can do to improve your own life.
You may think the onus is on him to change, and yes, it probably is. The issue is you probably can’t change him immediately.
The only person that can immediately change is yourself.
The first way to do so is to not act impulsively. This can be the last thing you want to be told what to do when your husband is cheating on you but it has a massive influence on your life. Acting impulsively in this context or any other inevitably leads to bad decisions being made.
Snap decisions are only necessary when you’re in a life or death situation and your fight or flight response has been triggered. But when responding to a cheating husband, your gut reaction is your worst enemy.
Your gut reaction may persuade you to run away, or to drive to his mistress’s house and light it on fire. Sure the latter may feel good at the time but would leave in you a worse position than the one you started in.
Allow the dust to settle.
If this is best done by creating physical space between you and your partner do so. Get out of the house and stay with a friend for a day or two as you allow yourself to breathe and assess the situation.
Take a step back, assess, and regroup. Once you have a cooler head on your shoulders you can go about deciding if you want him to be a part of your future.
Being cheated on by a boyfriend is much different than being cheated on by a spouse.
Chances are your husband and you have lives much more intertwined than you ever had with a boyfriend. Should the marriage end there is a network of people that will be impacted. A domino effect will happen as a consequence of the changing of winds.
There are serious legal ramifications of ending a marriage. With your finances so entwined, you’ll want to know what happens next so your financial future and the financial future of your children are secure.
You’ll be more certain of your actions moving forward if you know how the divorce will play out from the perspective of the law.
You will never be able to move on if you don’t have a conversation with your husband. To decide whether you’ll stay or go you must be able to hear him out. I’m referring not only to the conversation about his infidelity but about more banal issues as well.
The second communication shuts down is the moment he can use your cold shoulder to justify his actions. He may say, look this is why I had to cheat.
Don’t vindicate his decision. He may gaslight but know within yourself that your communication moving forward can never be used as a reason to justify his actions.
It’s cliche, but communication is the cornerstone of any good relationship. If we all know this, don’t allow infidelity to be the reason your communication wilts away.
I know it’s difficult.
I know sometimes the last thing you want to do is be in the same room as him, much less have a conversation. But in order for you to work through it, you two need to interact. You need him to hear what you have to say and vice versa.
If there’s any hope of a civil relationship moving forward you need to start by communicating in a healthy and open way.
You can start out by requesting space, but in time you’ll need to talk. Even if it’s simply about logistics and moving out, there will have to be a discussion.
The next few months will be confusing.
Despite what he did you’re still wondering what to do when your husband is cheating on you.
Do you stay and work things out or do you leave him?
You might have expected your feelings to be a bit more black and white, but it’s never that simple.
You’ve been with this person for years. Your lives are woven together. Just because he cheated doesn’t mean you want to leave him. In fact, research has found that 75% of wives that have been cheated on stay in the marriage.
There are a number of reasons for this ranging from staying together for financial reasons or for the children.
However, women also stay with their spouses because they love them. They realize their husband isn’t perfect and ultimately find and accept that both parties are at fault for his actions. He ultimately stepped out of the marriage but both partners contributed to the decision in some way.
To understand a bit more about why we cheat I urge you to read this article by behavior psychologist Esther Perel.
In it she discusses why even happy couples cheat.
One of the first lines is, a good marriage is no guarantee against infidelity. Cheating can happen to everyone. Some might say it’s natural as humans aren’t hardwired to be with one person for eternity. But this is a conversation for another day. And regardless of human biology, he still made a pact not to cheat.
So despite your love for him, you still find yourself sitting with conflicting feelings.
This is normal.
Accept your confusing feelings. In time they will subside.
The shift from confusion to certainty in regards to moving forward takes time. However the uncertain path can become more granular if you invest in internal healing.
Introspection is one way to heal these wounds. Healing a marriage means healing yourself. He can forgive until his throat hurts but will your ego allow you to forgive?
His actions will help you heal but let’s now wait for him to dictate how you feel.
You can decide how you want to think, the language you want to use, and if you want to continue this relationship. It’s all in your hands.
It’s tough knowing how to move forward.
I have a concrete path you can take that has worked for women in your position.
In my program, the Authentic Relationship System I teach women how to heal, about male psychology, and help them decide on the best path forward.
Via online classes, an online curriculum, and an online community I help you work through this storm.
I’d love to learn more about you and discuss your immediate goals. Let’s chat via a 1-on-1 session so we can learn more about each other and determine if I can be of service to you.